Many women who work in the marketplace find it difficult to cultivate their ministry there. In this video, Sheila West offers advice and encouragement to women working in the marketplace and valuable steps they can take to show Christ to the people working around them.
Sheila West has been involved in Women’s ministry for over 25 years, serving as Director of Women’s Ministry for over 20 years in the local church.
Learn more about women in leadership at LifeWay Women’s Leadership Forum.
The entire video is above, and the complete transcript is below.
When someone asks how can women practically do ministry in the marketplace, I think it is just being who you are in Jesus Christ. Being a glow that draws people to Jesus Christ and gives you that opportunity because they can see a difference in you.
Even though we have had programs that were called marketplace evangelism, what we discovered was that you really can not program marketplace ministry. But it’s building relationships with people, being there for them, learning how to listen and to hear as you want to be heard, to see as you want to be seen, and to understand as you want to be understood. Being able to meet them where they are and being able to even conversationally respond to what they’re going through in life with God’s Word. Not in a quoting way necessarily, but finding out, first of all, where they are and taking them to the next step. Being able find out what it is that they don’t understand, explain what they need to understand.
I think as much as to those who do not believe, it is being that light so that other believers that are in the marketplace can stand stronger and can be firmed and can feel encouraged about being where they are.
I know when I first left being a homemaker and entered into the marketplace, I felt like that they were taking me out of my ministry because my life was full of teaching and being in Bible studies. And I even asked the Lord, “Why in the world are You doing this?” And when I walked up to our business for the first day, put the key in the lock, and turned the lock and it fell off in my hands, I thought, “Oh dear Lord, You don’t want me here.” But instantly in my heart He said to me, “I do want you here, but you’re going to need Me and I want use you.”
And that built my cornerstone of being in the marketplace. That there was double-minded purpose and my purpose for being there was to become more like Jesus Christ in what would go on there and to make the Master more meaningful to people who are there.
Women, no matter what position you have that is in the marketplace, God wants to use you. You may be providing food on the table or whatever it is that has needed you and pushed you into the marketplace or building a career. But more than anything, He wants to use us in our lives to be able to lead people to know Jesus Christ and to lead other people to have a more Christ-centered life.